Important role of architects for disabled people guide, Home access advice, Building style tips
The important role of architects for disabled people
26 Jan 2021
There are the most beautiful buildings in the world. The realization of a building starts on the drawing board. After all, it is the architect who designs the building, often in consultation with his client. Shape, height and materials are of great importance.
But accessibility for people is also increasingly important when designing a building. Especially due to the fact that more people do have a physical disability, which makes it difficult to enter and walk in a building.
Importance of accessibility to buildings
Medical science keeps people getting older. The average age of the people has increased in the past 25 years. As a result, they are less and less agile. They use aids such as a cane or wheelchair. Many old buildings are not equipped for older people. These buildings are therefore not or not easily accessible for this group of people.
It is not only important for old people that a building is easily accessible. Good accessibility is also important for people with disabilities. This disability can have arisen at birth, but also through an accident. Think of a traffic accident or an occupational accident (Dutch: bedrijfsongeval). Limitations often arise as a result of the injury. These can be so serious that there is a question of temporary or permanent disability.
The role of an architect in personal injury claims
If someone is injured as a result of another’s fault, then there is liability. The insurer of the liable party is then liable to pay compensation to the personal injury victim. This damage is called personal injury and is recovered by a personal injury lawyer (Dutch: letselschade advocaat).
Personal injury consists of material damage on the one hand and immaterial damage on the other. This is also called grief money.
Sometimes the injury is so serious that adjustments have to be made in homes. Think of a barrier-free home, an adapted toilet or a shower without entry. And the house they live in must be easily accessible. For example, a flat needs a large elevator and indoors there must be enough space to move indoors. Sometimes adjustments are enough. An architect draws these, for example, so that a construction company can realize them. Sometimes people have to move and an architect has to design a house in such a way that a disabled person can live there.
The liable party must pay all modifications and also the costs of an architect. In most cases this is an insurer. For example, if the injury was caused by a traffic accident or an industrial accident, the owner of the car or the employer respectively is liable. Because these are usually insured, the personal injury insurer compensates the damage.
It is therefore also very important for people with a disability that buildings are accessible. A lot of attention is paid to this in the construction of new buildings. Fortunately, after all, everyone must be able to participate in society and must be able to come everywhere, young and old, with and without disabilities!
Importance of the role of the architect in accessibility
An important aspect when building a new building, in addition to the style and the material to be used, is therefore accessibility. Architects are also increasingly taking this into account. For example, by making the entrance wheelchair-friendly. Or working with sliding doors instead of doors that have to be opened by hand.
Not only at the entrance, but also in the building, disabled people must be taken into account. This can be achieved through wide corridors, large elevators and by working with as few thresholds as possible.
Important role of architects for disabled people Conclusion
People are getting older and this makes buildings difficult to access for this group of people. The same applies to people, who are victims of an accident. The accessibility of houses and buildings is of great importance to these people. Architects play an important role in this. After all, accessibility for the elderly and disabled must already be taken into account at the drawing board.
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